Citing the need to cut costs, Universal is the latest syndicator to decide not to set up shop on NATPE's convention floor.
Beyond expense, what also might play into their decision is the fact that Universal parent Vivendi has been trying to sell both the studios' first-run shows Blind Date and The Fifth Wheel - if that deal closes shortly, NATPE might not be needed. Both its international and domestic distribution divisions will move into Las Vegas' Venetian Hotel for January's conference.
Also looking to cut costs, the domestic syndication departments at Warner Bros., King World, Buena Vista and Carsey Werner are moving off the floor, with Warner Bros. and Carsey-Werner similarly opening up business instead at the Venetian. - Susanne Ault